I guess we're supposed to get excited about the big engagement party Mohammed is throwing for Pandora, Lisa's daughter, but really, I couldn't care less. I'm sure Pandora is a lovely girl, but she and her fiance Jason seem about as exciting as unbuttered toast or small California avocados, lacking any of Lisa's wry humor or Ken's veddy British eccentricity. They don't even have a small dog that they dress in ridiculous little outfits, so really, I just can't be bothered. I'd much rather see what our crazy ass housewives are up to, which is usually no good. We can only hope for a catfight breaking out next to the camels and bellydancers at Mohammed's, I suppose.
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It’s a Halloween version of “Dancing with the Stars,” which is different from a regular version of “Dancing with the Stars” because this show has pumpkins and green lighting. Oh, and zombie back-up singers. Really, an added Halloween slant to "DWTS" is barely noticeable, as everyone dresses up in costume every week. But this does give Tom Bergeron ample opportunity to pun his way through his opening. This seems to give him great joy, so far be it from me to begrudge him.
Let’s state this up front: telling a long-form narrative is incredibly, incredibly hard. When it’s done well, it represents a monumental achievement. So saying “Terra Nova” is pretty terrible at it isn’t quite the slam it might seem. It just means the show is just as bad as the majority of other television shows currently on right now. By now, it’s abundantly clear that the show barely thought past the pilot in terms of creating a far-reaching story that would sustain a single season, never mind a multitude of them. But that need not be a deal breaker for the show, so long as it recognizes its own limitations. But as long as it fails to do so, this will be an expensive misfire for FOX.
Sean Durkin is okay with the fact that his quiet, delicate, elegantly assembled debut feature freaks the living shit out of any number of viewers who encounter it. That’s the way the mild-mannered, genially bearded young writer-director wants it.
“I’ve read some critics describe it as a horror film, and I’m happy with that,” he says of “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” the cool, slippery psychological drama that won him a Best Director award at Sundance in January, and has been preying on the minds of US arthouse cinemagoers for the past week. “I love horror films, but I hate when they get bloody. I love the build-up, I love the fear. I got really addicted to fear when I was a child. The way I approach filmmaking, it’s a way to confront my fears. To create them is to confront them.”
“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” a time-shifting study of the attempted self-rehabilitation of Martha (first-time actress Elizabeth Olsen), a pretty, suggestible young woman recently escaped from a dangerous Catskills cult, certainly revels in build-up, teasingly withholding key details of the character’s circumstances across its broken-mirror narrative – leaving some unaddressed altogether. If the filmmaker is working through personal anxieties in this story, it’s certainly not evident in the crisp control with which he braids this material.
A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I'm as serious as a poutine shortage...
Miranda Lambert has gone from “Nashville Star” contestant — and not even a winner at that — to country queen in the span of six short years.
With “Four the Record,” her fourth album— get it? — she shows why. The reigning CMA female vocalist has always adored her country sisters who came before — Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris — but she draws just as much inspiration and grit from Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. This Texan loves her red meat, her guns, her liquor, her country, and her man, when he treats her right.
Jennings once joked that he “couldn’t go pop with a mouthful of firecrackers,” and the same holds true of Lambert. Her success has only made her stronger in her country convictions. Though there are touches of blues and rock on the Nov. 1 release, country blazes through every song here, which are drenched in mandolins, fiddles, pedal steel and a well-placed mournful organ every now and then.
Smartly, Lambert doesn’t try to replicate her modern classic, the tearjerker “The House That Built Me,” from 2009’s “Revolution.” If nothing on “Four” reaches the heights of “House,” the project scores as a consistently more even affair than her past three sets, full of heartache, betrayal, and, above all, attitude. Vocally, the 27-year old Lambert’s twang can sound boastful, regretful and torn all in the same song.
[More after the jump...]
Amid Kris' regular weekly predictions update, you might notice something new amid the Contenders pages: our first ranking for the season of the Best Foreign Language Film submissions. Needless to say, in a category this eternally uncertain, it's a rough list, to say the least: drawn from a vague voodoo combination of gut feeling about the films I've seen, hearsay about the films I haven't, and doubtless foolhardy underestimation of the films I currently know nothing about.
The rankings will no doubt shift as I see more of the submissions, but this one category where precursor awards are really of very little help: there's no way of logically deducing what will show up on the nine-title shortlist that precedes the nominations in January. The fun, for me, lies in predicting two opposing concerns: which seemingly obvious favorites the voters will snub (as happens to certain high-profile entries on an annual basis), and which left-field surprises the branch's more discerning executive committee might shoehorn onto the list. What's this year's "Of Gods and Men," and what's this year's "Dogtooth?"
The common refrain for the past five years or so in the content business is "Print is dead." And while that's pretty much true across the board (or will be once digital tablets become commonplace amongst the masses), our print brothers can still impact the opening of a movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" will close out this year's AFI Fest on November 10. The announcement is a real coup for the 25th edition of the festival, which already has Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" set to open the event this Thursday night, November 3.
"Tintin" premiered in the UK last week, where it scored big at the box office but wasn't met with thunderous critical approval. Our own Guy Lodge was a big fan of the film, however, noting that "the film’s smashing key set pieces...fully justify this technological leap of faith [of performance-capture], while also successfully adapting the distinctive flat-color textures of Hergé’s trademark ligne claire drawing style."
Other key galas planned for AFI Fest include "Carnage," "My Week with Marilyn," "The Artist" (naturally) and "Shame." As previously announced, Pedro Almodóvar will serve as Guest Artistic Director of the festival, offering up his own sidebar program of curated classics.
Last night the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, along with Southern California Edison and the Santa Barbara Theater Organ Society, presented its third-annual pre-Halloween program dedicated to the screening of a silent classic with live music accompaniment. The night's offering: F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror."
The program launched in 2009 with "The Phantom of the Opera" and continued last year with "The Black Pirate." And judging by the big turnout at the Arlington Theatre yesterday, it's as popular as ever. The film was preceded by the somewhat Halloween-themed Laurel and Hardy short, "Habeas Corpus."
There was a bit of a last-minute scare, though, as the scheduled organist was stranded back east due to the severe weather that popped up over the weekend. A savior swooped in at the last second as Santa Barbara festival director Roger Durling and company got in touch with a Burbank-based organist who, after playing his third-straight mass that morning, was happy to change it up with a silent horror film and a slapstick short.
Happy Monday, and time for a busy, Dan-centric installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we review "Hell on Wheels," the new season of "Bones," bust out another installment of Dan's Reality Round-Up, talk off the cuff about the Charlie Sheen/FX deal, and lots more.